Much news coverage today of the Administration’s Space ideas. Most everywhere comes the note that big dreams are great but without investment they tend to remain nice dreams.
Investments are made in things that pay back, obviously and (pardon) ‘bigly.’ Until the goal from the start is for something to at least pay its own way there will always just be nice talk of skipping on Mars and ‘Science.’
Bringing to mind this SSI Alumnus’ famous anecdote:
‘At the Stanford (11/85) meeting of the National Commission on Space Dr. Carl Sagan expounded on his recent conversion to favor human space flight. This was only to meet the political ends of U.S.-Soviet peacemaking, of course; science was still best done by robots. When Gerry [Gerard K. O’Neill] asked Carl if there might not be another reason for human beings to go into space, namely economics, Carl gushed that it would be immoral to go into space for profit…that it would be like Cecil Rhodes and the “robber barons who pillaged Africa.” Gerry and I laughed for a long time about that. Given the company, Carl can call me a robber baron anytime.
– James Muncy’
Until some Space agency starts bringing economically sized ISO Containers of “Rare Earths” down the Gravity Well from the Asteroids, what could possibly be worth such investment? The last half of this 5 minute read related to a previous Administration’s big plan has one idea:
“Now that’s a space program that, I believe, makes sense”
– Gerard K. O’Neill